What Newlyweds Should Know About Handling Stress in a Marriage

In an interview with Vogue, Justin Bieber and wife Hailey Baldwin illuminated an important truth about marriage. A relationship therapist weighs in on what all couples should know before tying the knot.

Chattrawutt Hanjukkam / EyeEm/Getty Images
Chattrawutt Hanjukkam / EyeEm/Getty Images

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are newly married at just 24 and 22, and in talking about their decision to tie the knot, they are candid about the parts of marriage that are less than glamorous and require a lot of teamwork. In a new interview with Vogue, the newlyweds opened up about their passionate but tumultuous romance — and how they’re trying to prepare for the challenges of marriage.

“Marriage is very hard,” Baldwin said. “We’re two young people who are learning as we go. I’m not going to sit here and lie and say it’s all a magical fantasy. It’s always going to be hard. It’s a choice.”

James Devaney / Contributor/ Getty Images

The couple, who already go to therapy together to talk through the challenges in their relationship, agree that expressing your frustration openly can be a valuable way to communicate.  “We’ve been working through stuff,” Bieber added. “Fighting is good.”  

Deciding to tie the knot is a significant life choice, and relationship experts do agree that talking openly about your stress could be the key to a healthy marriage. “Couples who are stable over time are the ones who are supportive in stress,”Stacy Hubbard, LMFT, a certified Gottman Therapist, tells Thrive Global. “Before you get married, it’s important to acknowledge that.”

According to Hubbard, it’s completely possible to enjoy the fun parts of marriage while still acknowledging the stressful parts, too. Here are three things newlyweds should know about marital stress before deciding to tie the knot:

Venting is productive

“External stress is expected,” Hubbard says. “So, talking about that stress is important — and we shouldn’t avoid venting.” Hubbard explains that being honest about what’s overwhelming you, whether it’s something at work at home, is the most important part of communicating with your partner. “The main things to keep in mind are empathy, support, listening, and validation,” she urges. “You don’t have to have the answers. Supporting your partner is about showing them that you have their back.”

Don’t automatically try to solve the problem

Hubbard points out that trying to problem-solve right away can sometimes add to your stress, and even make your partner feel isolated. “Don’t try to be the instant problem-solver,” she suggests. Instead, let your partner vent, and know that you might not be able to offer a solution right away. “So often, we just want to feel heard, and feel that we have someone on our side,” she adds.

Acknowledge the past

“When a partner or a friend is sharing their pain or their joy with us, it is an opportunity to connect,” Hubbard notes. Many couples assume that bringing up the past can be harmful for relationships, but Hubbard says that in certain contexts, it helps to ask questions about past struggles. She suggests asking your partner questions such as, “Were you able to feel supported growing up, or were your emotions shut down?” And by learning how they’ve coped with hardships in the past, you can better support them in your present relationship.

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